The Zebras 1-0 loss to Mauritania this past weekend might have been a tipping point in the rocky relationship between English headcoach Peter Butler and his employers at the BFA Botswana Football Association.
This week South African media outlets linked the polarising coach to PSL outfit Platinum Stars. Butler is expected to replace Dikwena coach Cavin Johnson who has since parted ways with the Rustenburg outfit.
Butler’s last game was a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Francistown Sports Complex where his charges lost by a single goal to Mauritania. Following the crushing loss at the Zebras stronghold, Butler was quick to express his disappointment over how the BFA handled the national team.
This week impeccable sources close to the matter alleged that Butler underwent an interview in Rustenburg, SA on Tuesday. In an interview this week, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said Butler is still an employee of the BFA.
“As far as we are concerned Butler is still an employee of the association and he has a contract with us,” he said. Efforts to contact Butler on Tuesday were futile as his phone was not available throughout the day.
However, there were reports that he had been interviewed for the Dikwena job in South Africa, which we couldn’t independently verify at the time of writing. Mpatane said that the national team is expected to report for camp soon in preparation for the upcoming Cosafa cup scheduled from 25th June until 9th July. In addition Mpatane said they are aware of recent reports linking Butler to Dikwena.
“We will sit down with him and try to understand the issue,” he said. Nevertheless, Mpatane said they have since agreed in principle to another long term contract with Butler. “Our hope is that he will sign the contract.
If that is not the case we will look for a replacement.” The former West Ham United player took over the reigns at Zebras three years ago and his football philosophy quickly unsettled local football supporters.
Compared to his predecessor Stanley Tshosane, Butler preferred to play with an eclectic squad and frequently introduced young players to the squad. Over the years Butler’s team selection became a hotly-debated topic and received mixed reaction from football supporters and the media across the country.
Thus far the coach, who arrived in the country amidst pomp and fanfare, has never qualified for any of the top tier competitions including Afcon and FIFA World Cup. Perhaps Butler’s magnum opus was making it to the finals of the 2016 Castle cup in Namibia where the Zebras made it to the finals and lost to South Africa 2-0. Nevertheless, Butler’s relentless approach of introducing inexperienced players in the national team has uncovered several talented players who are now cracking the PSL market in South Africa. Such players include Thero Setsile, Onkabetse Makganthai, Thabang Sesinyi, Anthony Gouws and Lebogang Ditsile.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”